No. 520 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

No.520 Squadron was a meteorological squadron which formed at Gibraltar in September 1943. The squadron operated a mix of short and long range aircraft, beginning with the Hudson III and Gladiator II and then moving on to the Spitfire VB and Halifax V in February 1944.

The longer range aircraft were used to fly weather reporting missions deep into the Atlantic, while the shorter range fighters were used in the local area.

In September 1944 the squadron took over No.1500 (BAT) Flight's Martinets and target-towing duties, retaining those aircraft to the end of 1945. At the end of the war the squadron was also given an air-sea rescue role, which it retained until being disbanded in April 1946.

Aircraft
September 1943-March 1944: Lockheed Hudson III
September 1943-June 1944: Gloster Gladiator II
February 1944-June 1945: Handley Page Halifax B.Mk V
February 1944-June 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VB
June 1944-APril 1945: Hawker Hurricane IIC
September 1944-December 1945: Martinet I
January-October 1945: Lockheed Hudson III
April 1945-April 1946: Handley Page Halifax III

Location
20 September 1943-25 April 1946: Gibraltar

Squadron Codes: 2M

Duty
By February 1944: Meteorological Squadron with No. 18 Group
April 1946: Disbanded

Books

Gloster Gladiator Aces, Andrew Thomas. A look at the wartime career of the only biplane fighter still in RAF service during the Second World War. Covers the Gladiator's service in Finland, Malta, North Africa, Greece, Aden, East Africa and Iraq, where despite being outdated it performed surprisingly well.
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RAF Coastal Command in Action, 1939-45, Roy C. Nesbit. This is an excellent photographic history of Coastal Command during the Second World War. The book is split into six chapters, one for each year of the war. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction to the events of the year, and the aircraft that equipped the command before moving on to the photos. Each chapter contains a mix of pictures of the aircraft used by the command and pictures taken by the command. [see more]
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Review of Halifax Squadrons by John lake Halifax Squadrons of World War II , Jon Lake. This is a very good book on the combat record of the Handley Page Halifax. It covers much more than just its role as a front line bomber, with chapters on the Halifax with Coastal Command, the Pathfinders and SOE, amongst others. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 March 2007), No. 520 Squadron (RAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/520_wwII.html

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